Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Restraint of Beasts

This is a very funny, very dark and very powerful book. Kafka isn't the exact forbear, but he's up there in the tree someplace. For me the more immediate touchstone is Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman, one of my very favorite novels. It concerns a fencing business in Scotland. The narrator has just been named foreman of a three-man team, by his efficient and stern boss, who is interested only in the improvement of the art of putting up cattle fences. The foreman tried to control his team of sullen, silent, lazy and disturbed workers, but to no avail. The plot revolves around (spoiler) the manslaughters they commit each of the three times they are sent on a job to either construct or create a farmer's cattle fence. It's hard to describe, obviously. And doesn's parse well into quotable moments, as the whole narrative

No comments: